Following the Thread of Innovation: Madeira UK

Madeira UK is a leading provider of high-quality embroidery products, supplying their Classic Rayon and Polyneon Polyester threads globally for branding and logos in addition to technical threads focusing on environmental sustainability, fire resistance, and luminosity.

With a rich history and a commitment to innovation and sustainability, Madeira UK has established itself as a trusted embroidery partner for businesses in diverse markets, including uniform, workwear, and PPE, in addition to sportswear, costume design, fashion and more.

Generational knowledge

Madeira UK was established in 1983 as the first daughter company of the Madeira Group and has since grown integral to Madeira’s global presence. In 2019 Madeira celebrated 100 years of manufacturing embroidery threads, and in 2023 Madeira UK will mark its 40th anniversary, a testament to the company’s enduring success and long-standing commitment to providing exceptional products.

With over 400 employees worldwide, Madeira operates subsidiaries in Europe, the USA, and Asia, allowing the company to serve customers on a global scale. In 2022 Madeira UK sold just under 1 million spools, equal to approximately 3 billion metres of thread, underlining Madeira’s impressive scale.

In March 2023, Madeira UK moved to new premises in Ripon, North Yorkshire, to expand its capacity and increase efficiency. The new facility offers significant improvements in efficiency over the previous warehouse, including dedicated goods in and goods out areas, 2.5 times the stock capacity, motion-activated lights, EV chargers, and streamlined processes facilitated by a digitally enhanced Warehouse Management System (WMS).

The new premises also feature 2,327 m2 of ground space to accommodate the new larger warehouse alongside a dedicated space for Madeira Training Courses, promoting professional development and knowledge sharing for embroiderers around the UK.

Sustainable choices:

Offering an extensive range of high-quality products suitable for a wide variety of textile applications, Madeira’s embroidery threads are trusted by manufacturers across the professional clothing industry. Madeira is the only company to achieve a perfect 100% score in the PCIAW Awards judging for the Sustainability Award. Additionally, Madeira has collaborated with textile artists on high-profile projects for TV, film, and historic events such as the anointing screen used in King Charles III’s Coronation.

One of Madeira’s most impactful partnerships is with Coloreel, a groundbreaking on-demand embroidery technology launched in 2018. Coloreel enables the on-demand colouring of textile thread, and in partnership with the technology Madeira has produced a 100% recycled polyester thread made from post-consumer PET bottles. This sustainable solution demonstrates Madeira’s commitment to environmental stewardship and care, providing customers with advanced OEKO-TEX® certified and eco-friendly solutions without compromising on quality.

Coloreel’s instant-dyed embroidery thread fulfils OEKO-TEX® 100 class I standards. The thread is produced from 100% recycled post-consumer PET bottles and has passed through all industry-standard quality testing and provides the same fastness properties as virgin polyester thread. With the ambition to further minimise impact, the thread cone is made from recycled plastics and is packaged and shipped in recycled carton boxes.

The thread is undyed white so that users can transform it into thousands of colours that are CMYK, RGB, HEX and PMS compatible.

Madeira’s commitment to sustainability is far-reaching, going beyond recycled plastics. Madeira manufactures its thread in Germany, and in line with industry trends their factories are outfitted with industrial energy and water recovery systems which recycle heat in the plant and reduce net energy consumption.

The company’s Madeira Green portfolio includes two sustainable threads, GRS certified Polyneon Green made from recycled plastic bottles and Sensa Green thread produced from Lyocell wood fibres. Lyocell fibres are produced by Lenzing in a closed-loop process, promoting the circular economy and providing further sustainable solutions. Both thread ranges are OEKO-TEX® product class I, Annex 6 certified, and REACH compliant, ensuring adherence to industry standards for safety and environmental responsibility.

Among the exciting new products currently being developed, Madeira is looking to add sustainable biodegradable backing stabiliser products. Since the majority of embroidery backing becomes waste during the embroidery process, this will create a revolutionary solution to an age-old problem facing embroiderers who are looking to play their part for the environment.

Innovation and safety

The company has expanded its capabilities and research in other fields too, taking an active role in the development of smart textiles. Madeira’s HC Conductive thread uses silver-plated fibres to produce flexible and washable electronic circuitry. This thread is already being utilised in various industries, including medical technology, automotive, aerospace, and home textiles, opening up new possibilities for advanced performance wear.

Fire and heat resistance are also crucial requirements for certain industries, as no firefighter wants their embroidery to be set alight while they work. Madeira covers the FR market with specialised threads such as their Firefighter range, available in 30 colours.

Launched in 2006, the range uses 100% aramid fibres and contains Nomex® branded fibres from Du Pont® for superior heat and fire resistance. This range is fully compliant with relevant safety regulations, such as DIN EN ISO 11612, offering superior protection across FR applications in emergency services, workwear, and PPE.

In addition to FR materials, Madeira supplies reflective threads through their REFLECT-T50 range, which is built on a decorative thread with embedded glass microbeads. These microbeads provide a reflective surface for the scattering of light, complimenting the visibility needs of hi-vis workwear, sportswear, and other industrial applications.

Madeira’s broad range of threads is unparalleled in the professional clothing industry, providing materials for all uses. From decorative and branding, to technical FR threads used in safety equipment, the company continues to push the boundaries of textile technologies and develop the threads suppliers need to enhance their embroidery.

Strategic plan

As one of the largest global suppliers of embroidery thread, Madeira is set to continue their growth and success in the years ahead.

Andrew Maylor, Managing Director at Madeira UK, comments: “Having recently moved into larger, purpose-built premises outside of Ripon in North Yorkshire, Madeira UK is in an excellent position to grow further over the next 5 years. As the leading supplier of embroidery thread in the UK we see many opportunities to add to our consumables range in the garment decoration sector.”

“High quality, sustainable and innovative products along with excellent customer service has been the backbone behind our success and our support to the industry through our educational programs and embroidery training courses will continue to develop the Madeira brand.”

Earning the position of industry leader

Madeira UK over the past 40 years has grown from strength to strength, establishing itself as a leading provider of embroidery threads in Britain, and growing trust in Madeira globally. With an unwavering commitment to sustainability built into their foundations, Madeira UK offers functional high-quality solutions to diverse industries and use cases.

Madeira’s developments in technical and sustainable threads place their customers at the forefront of what’s possible in professional clothing. Madeira UK is set to thrive in the ever-evolving world of embroidery, stitching a rich tapestry of innovation for the industry to admire.

Phone:  +44 (0)1765 641 700

PCIAW Uniform Networks Buyer, Trusted member